The Rise, Fall, And Rise Of Software Asset Management: It’s More Than Just A “Good Thing To Do”

To describe software asset management as “red hot” right now might be an overstatement, but it is definitely at the top end of very warm. Three things have spurred me to write this quick blog:

  1. The growing number of Forrester client inquiries – unlike with IT service management (ITSM) where most relate to tool selection, these inquiries are very much about “getting started.”
  2. A recent webinar with CA Technologies where my somewhat “SAM 101” presentation seemed to be very well received: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/6505/60233 (registration required).
  3. Jon Hall, of BMC, published an IT asset management (ITAM)-related blog (Let’s work together to fix ITAM’s image problem) in which he shares not only his insights but also what I would call “BMC IP” – what Jon calls an asset management benchmarking worksheet.
Read more

2012 Cloud Predictions – Winners & Losers

The year 2012 brought a significant amount of growth in enterprise use of cloud services but did it fulfill our expectations? With just five weeks left in the year, it’s time to reflect on our predictions for this market in 2012. Back in November 2011 we said that the cloud market was entering a period of rebellion, defiance, exploration, and growth, not unlike the awkward teenage years of a person’s life. The market certainly showed signs of teen-like behavior in 2012, but many of the changes we foresaw, it appears, will take several years to play out.

Read more

HP’s Troubles Continue, But Does It Matter?

HP seems to be on a tear, bouncing from litigation with one of its historically strongest partners to multiple CEOs in the last few years, continued layoffs, and a recent massive write-down of its EDS purchase. And, as we learned last week, the circus has not left town. The latest “oops” is an $8.8 billion write-down for its purchase of Autonomy, under the brief and ill-fated leadership of Léo Apotheker, combined with allegations of serious fraud on the part of Autonomy during the acquisition process.

The eventual outcome of this latest fiasco will be fun to watch, with many interesting sideshows along the way, including:

  • Whose fault is it? Can they blame it on Léo, or will it spill over onto Meg Whitman, who was on the board and approved it?
  • Was there really fraud involved?
  • If so, how did HP miss it? What about all the internal and external people involved in due diligence of this acquisition? I’ve been on the inside of attempted acquisitions at HP, and there were always many more people around with the power to say “no” than there were people who were trying to move the company forward with innovative acquisitions, and the most persistent and compulsive of the group were the various finance groups involved. It’s really hard to see how they could have missed a little $5 billion discrepancy in revenues, but that’s just my opinion — I was usually the one trying to get around the finance guys. :)
Read more

Hands-On Observations Of The Microsoft Surface: Compelling.

Last weekend I spent several hours with a Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT, courtesy of a Forrester client. I liked it. A lot. Some quick initial observations and thoughts on what it means for I&O professionals:

  1. The combination keyboard/cover is genius. The keyboard on the tablet I used is the flat, non-tactile one instead of the one with Chiclet keys, but like the iPad it cleans the screen when it's closed. I got used to the feel quickly but would still prefer a tactile keyboard if I bought one.
  2. The performance is smooth and quick. I find RT to be very responsive on the Surface. It's not quite as fluid as iOS on an iPad, but it's close, and the touchscreen is precise. The screen is also bright and clear with rich, vibrant colors - at least to my eyes.
  3. It feels heavy but solid. Any concerns about Microsoft as a hardware vendor will vanish in the first 5 minutes with it. One glitch however: This was the second Surface for this client because the original device was defective and wouldn't recognize the keyboard, so there may be some QA glitches with early versions.
  4. I use the touchscreen more than the touchpad. I thought I'd have a hard time giving up the mouse, but found myself tapping the screen even though the Surface has a mini touchpad. It's a natural motion, and I found Office 2013 Preview a joy to use - but did need to use the touchpad for some things.
Read more

Seven Reasons Windows 8 Adoption In The Enterprise Is At Risk

In my previous blog on Windows 8, I discussed the gap between IT decision-maker interest in migrating to Windows 8 and employee interest particularly with touchscreen tablet devices. Employee interest was even higher than I expected prerelease, which means that Windows 8 will likely become a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) force for many organizations, but the high number of undecided respondents suggests that the next 12 months will be critical. Note that the survey was taken before the public Windows 8 release, so I don't yet know how interest will change with more people using it hands-on. I'll share my personal experiences with it in a future blog post. With that in mind, below are seven factors that put adoption at risk through the first 12 months after release.

IT decision-maker interest is affected by the following:
  1. Most IT shops are still in the midst of their Windows XP to 7 migration. Clients report that migrating to Windows 7 is an expensive process, with application migration and modernization, the OS upgrade process, and the associated labor and costs. With only 4% of firms having a plan to migrate to Windows 8 in the next 12 months, the majority of new corporate PCs currently being deployed with Windows 7, a three- to five-year life cycle on PC hardware, and the end of Windows XP support coming in April 2014, Forrester believes few firms will be anxious to make another major investment in desktop OS migration.
Read more

By The Numbers: Is Windows 8 Dead On Arrival In The Enterprise?

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft is in the midst of its largest marketing effort ever, hoping to reach 2.1 billion people over the next several months. Because of its lukewarm initial sales, but with new tablets and convertibles on the way, Forrester clients are understandably asking how much attention they should  give it. Here's my take:

The data tells us two important things. The first is that Windows 8 is seeing roughly half of the interest from IT hardware decision-makers that Windows 7 saw at the same point in its release cycle. Only 24% of firms expect to migrate to Windows 8 but have no specific plans to do so, versus 49% for Windows 7 back in 2009. Only 5% of firms have specific plans to migrate to Windows 8 in the next 12 months, versus 10% for Windows 7 in 2009:

The second important thing that the data tells us is that Windows 8 has higher interest than we expected among employees, with a full 20% already saying that they would prefer Windows 8 on their next touchscreen tablet versus 26% for iOS. That bodes well for Windows 8's prospects for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) demand:

What It Means: Forrester does not expect enterprises to adopt Windows 8 as their primary IT standard. More on why in a future blog. But we do expect that employees will force IT to have a formal support policy for Windows 8 for employee-owned devices. Windows 8 will accelerate BYOD demand. Look for more from Benjamin Gray and yours truly in a report due out shortly.

Categories:

SDN, Cloud, And Automation Need A Controller, System, And Sensor

After Hurricane Sandy forced the closure of the NYSE, the market opened up a week ago Wednesday morning with Riverbed’s stock price plunging 20%, while some financial analysts downgraded the company from “hold” to “underperform.” The financial institutions felt that Riverbed’s WAN optimization market was commoditizing and viewed its acquisition of OpNet for $1 billion as a company looking to enhance its monitoring revenue stream, Cascade (Mazu), and Shark (CACE) products. That might be true, but it’s an insignificant variable in Riverbed’s strategy. What they missed, and what many in the industry have continued to disregard, is the value of monitoring, one of the three components needed for a closed loop system (AKA cloud). Public or private clouds require a system that can automatically interweave an abstracted set of resources as needed and bill per use.

One of the main areas inhibiting the cloud has been the network and its inability to act like a virtual network infrastructure. Forrester defines VNI as:

Read more

HP And Intel Announce Poulson And New Integrity Servers – Great News For A Select Few

On Tuesday November 8, after more than a year of pre-announcement disclosures that eventually left very little to the imagination, Intel finally announced the Itanium 9500, formerly known as Poulson. Added to this was the big surprise of HP announcing a refresh of its current line of Integrity servers, from blades to the large Superdome servers, with the new Itanium 9500.

As noted in an earlier post, the Itanium 9500 offers considerable performance improvements over its predecessors, and instantiated in HP’s new Integrity line it is positioned as delivering between 2X and 3X the performance per socket as previous Itanium 9300 (Tukwilla) systems at approximately the same price. For those remaining committed to Itanium and its attendant OS platforms, notably HP-UX, this is unmitigated good news. The fly in the ointment (I have never seen a fly in any ointment, but it does sound gross), of course, is HP’s dispute with Oracle. Despite the initial judgment in HP’s favor, the trial is a) not over yet, and b) Oracle has already filed for an early appeal of the initial verdict, which would ordinarily have to wait until the second phase of the trial, scheduled for next year, to finish. The net takeaway is that Oracle’s future availability on Itanium and HP-UX is not yet assured, so we really cannot advise the large number of Oracle users who will require Oracle 12 and later versions to relax yet.

Read more

Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group – Rowan Trollope Takes The Helm

 

Today, Rowan Trollope took charge of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, being named SVP/GM, according to a blog posted by Marthin DeBeer (http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-welcomes-rowan-trollope-as-new-head-of-collaboration-technology-group/). Cisco has worked hard to demonstrate its commitment to the collaboration market over the past several years, and the current leader of the collaboration efforts at Cisco, OJ Winge, was a clear champion of the cause. OJ was famous for advocating for clear, easy-to-use collaboration solutions that helped information workers get their jobs done — famously quipping that he did not care about the devices, platforms, or delivery models, but only about the people. Rowan comes from Symantec where he was a leader in developing and delivering security solutions. He is a smart, well-educated executive who brings hard-core, real-world experience managing and growing software and cloud-based businesses. In addition to replacing Alan Cohen’s unrivaled ability to spin a fascinating tale (check out Rowan’s blog http://rowantrollope.com/), I expect that Rowan will help Cisco in many more business focused ways including the following:

·         A focus on the user. Rowan cut his teeth making Norton’s security products relevant to consumers — he cares about and understands end users.

Read more

What’s The Real Cost Of Poor IT Support And Shoddy Customer Service?

The service desk, and with it IT support and customer service, has long been a big part of how end users (or, as I like to call them, “internal and external customers”) perceive the IT organization and the quality of its service delivery. Think about it, customers are forming their opinions based not only on their hardware and the IT services they consume but also on: the “IT people” they come into contact with, how these people perform, and how they (the customer) are treated. Also think about the context – it’s usually when the IT isn’t working and the customer is unable to do their job.

The bottom line for me is that none of us corporate minions have time for IT failure and, while it is still unavoidable, IT support staff need to see the business impact – and realize that there is no such thing as IT failure . . . that there is only business- and people-impacting failure. Take at look at the following Forrester Forrsights data, which compares the business and IT views of IT performance, and if you are an IT professional try not to weep at how poorly IT is perceived:

The quick view is: the business doesn’t rate IT very well (and sometimes IT doesn’t rate itself well).

The harsh truth: IT can no longer afford to ignore its customers

Read more